As always I'm looking forward to more of your posts. Such excellent work.
As always I'm looking forward to more of your posts. Such excellent work.
Roy is not happy. By now I had hoped to be posting pictures of my finished mast and perhaps also my boom and yard. Unfortunately my yellow cedar staves decided that it would be fun to turn themselves into noodles. Some are so bad they could be used as wooden propellers. After much time in the groaning chair and a couple of bottles of wine I've decided that the staves need to be cut much thinner. They will likely still twist but be easier to straighten out and be glued together to make staves the size I need. Things will also slow down for a while because I can only do this on my driveway. Two problems then raise their ugly heads. It's well below freezing out there and while I could bundle up and do the cutting It's too cold to do any gluing. Second problem is that when the weather is forecast to warm up it's also forecast to rain heavily for at least a week. I can't wait for spring!
Last edited by capefox; 01-11-2017 at 10:05 AM.
Thanks for the soaking suggestion. I thought of that but once again I'd be working on the driveway and the hot water would freeze in no time. It's now +1 Celsius and the sun is shining so, after lunch, I'll wheel the boat out of the way and set up my indoor/outdoor workshop to see what can be done.
Heat gun and spray bottle then stack under weights?
I spent the afternoon in glorious sunshine at all of +2 Celsius cutting and planing. I've now got all the staves back in the workshop straightened out and clamped to a straight plank. The workshop (garage) has been open all day so it too is cold. Tomorrow when it's warmed up I'll take the stack of staves apart and start epoxying them together with the plank as my straight edge. I think it will be OK.
It sounds like you will essentially be building a laminated box section mast and I can't think of a single thing wrong with that. In fact suspect it could be stronger. With respect to the frustration of boat building, the takeaway of my building experience is that most things can be fixed or redone. The stress of "messing up" dwindles as one solves issues like gaps around bulkheads, innovates ways of installing the seats, etc., and one realizes you have the problem solving skills you never knew existed.
Today was a good day. I've now got three staves glued together and will add another before I go to bed tonight. That leaves two more to add tomorrow. As for mistakes and frustrations, they are all part of the learning process. I've built many kayaks, a canoe, two row boats and now this. Each one teaches me something. What they've all taught me is that everything can be fixed, usually in a way that either will never be noticed or will actually become a feature. I hope all you Argie builders out there are paying attention. I'm no expert, just stubborn. If you have a problem and need a solution, just ask. someone (probably several someones) will have had the same problem and will offer advice. Take all the advice, process it based on your experience, your skills and your tools then move ahead. Whatever it is, you can do it.
Today was a little slower than expected. The temperature is still so low here that even in my workshop the epoxy is taking a long time to harden up. It is setting, just slow. So, tomorrow I should be able to put on the final stave and have a blank for the mast. I'll then make the yard and boom blanks before taking off the corners and making everything round. Progress but just a little slower than planned.
Today I learned, once again, that the best laid plans of mice and men etc. etc.
This morning I went into my workshop and the mast looked absolutely straight so I took off the clamps (I used every clamp I possess). Very satisfied I went indoors, made some coffee and went back to the workshop to congratulate myself again. Then I found the whole ***** thing was twisted again in two directions. Completely unusable. The weather forecast for the next 10 days is rain so I won't be able to use my driveway for cutting new staves so, philosophically, I tell myself I now have the time (and the wood) to do this properly next time and learn from the experience. The twisty mast will now become part of next year's Christmas decorations (it would be a shame to turn it into firewood) so it's not the end of the world.
Stay tuned to this channel.
All may not be lost. I had an idea last night (couldn't sleep) and will do a test today to see if I can make it work.
Edited Monday 7pm. I think it will work. I used a Japanese saw to cut into the seams where there was the greatest twist, packed in some epoxy with wood flour thickener, clamped it back together and then used some levers (also clamped to the mast blank) to remove the twist. If it stays straight after I remove the levers and clamps tomorrow I'm optimistic it will be OK structurally if not visually. The seams will be more visible than I would like but I'll just think of them as "features".
Last edited by Roy Morford; 01-16-2017 at 09:02 PM.
OK. I'll be the first to admit it's not absolutely straight. However, I believe it's structurally sound and I can straighten it out when I plane a taper and while rounding.
I am feeling good today because I finally began eight siding. If the weather holds I'll move the whole thing to the driveway and drive the neighbours mad with the noise of a power planer. In case anyone is curious, the square attachment on the bottom is to locate the mast in the mast step. The open seam at the top left is one of those I opened up with a Japanese saw to help with the straightening. The 1/4 inch maple veneers are just on the bottom of the mast to provide a more solid bearing surface where the mast sits in the mast partners.
Last edited by Roy Morford; 01-21-2017 at 03:31 PM.
I finally have a mast. It's not absolutely straight but it will do. It's also a little on the heavy side and I'll have to taper it some more to lose a little weight. It looks like quite a radical angle but that's only an illusion because the driveway is sloping down. The actual angle is 7 degrees.
Pull it with a Subaru? Perfect match IMO ;-)
Thanks Andrew. Keep in mind this boat is a 15 footer. From that distance you can't see all the small mistakes.
I love my Subaru. It's only 11 years old and still going strong.
Today's task - taper the mast and lose some weight.
This picture shows the bottom 2 feet (base to mast partners) tapered from 2.875" to 2" (roughly so far, still some planing and sanding to do to get it nice and round). This took about 2 hours and it's hard work with some power planing, some hand planing and lots of hand sanding! And only another 12 feet to go!
Last edited by Roy Morford; 01-27-2017 at 07:22 PM.
Thursday was cool but bright and sunny. I set up some saw horses on the driveway and was able to finish shaping the mast. It's still not perfect but will do the job.
Friday the snow came.
What else could I do but retreat to the workshop and start building my custom launch dolly. Custom because most available launch dollies are not wide enough for an Argie and none are designed for a bow first launch. Our club ramp faces south and when the wind blows there are almost always waves breaking on the ramp and the adjacent beach. Many of the more experienced club sailors have made their own dollies in order to launch bow first and so I've taken the best of their ideas and made the changes I think will work for me. This picture is the main load bearing member with axle stubs, flat free tires and nylon bearings (courtesy of another club member).
Things will slow down again now until the snow clears. Keep in mind that here in Vancouver BC we normally receive about an inch of snow once every ten years. Even that creates chaos so you can imagine what this dump is doing.
They say it never rains but it pours. This is especially true in Vancouver (otherwise known as Raincouver). Yesterday it snowed, today it's torrential rain so getting set up on the driveway and doing anything requiring a lot of space is out of the question for the next few days at least. However, I've not been completely idle and the following picture shows progress on the launch dolly so far.
Here it is tucked under the hull until I can do more. The wheels will actually go under the hull first but, until the rain stops, I can do no more. I need to slide the dolly into position under the hull until I find the balance point and then I can add the last cross member and install some handles.
And finally, proof that I'm addicted and can't stop! This is a picture of a new set of oars for my next construction project - a John Welsford Joansa. These are one piece oars made from spruce by Fancy Oars on Canada's east coast. I plan to thin the blade edges a little and then balance them equally before varnishing and leathering. Things I can do inside while the weather is not cooperating outside.
Looking forward to see pictures of her on the water!
Sorry Fredostli, you're going to have to be patient. I anticipate launching in mid to late April. Today was cool but dry and I spent about three hours hand sanding the epoxy coat on the mast to get it nice and smooth ready for the first coat of varnish. Here's a picture of the (now) tapered mast sitting in the hull.
And this picture shows how the mast is fastened in what passes for mast partners. I know this method of securing the mast will have its detractors but I've seen this used successfully on other boats and it appeals to my wanting to keep everything simple.
Sorry about the dust and dirt. I will clean it up later when all the work is finished.
Don't know if you are already planning on it, but leather will be needed to protect the mast and wood, especially as your contact area is small and the lashing will still allow the mast to shift side to side a bit.
Thanks cracked lid. I definitely intend to leather the mast as well as the yard, boom and oars. I also have a plan B in case the lashing doesn't work too well. Notice the belaying pins. They're spaced to accept a yoke which would pivot on one pin and be locked in place by the other. I put that system on my current boat and it works extremely well. Here's a picture.
I think I just talked myself into using the pivoting yoke for my Argie.
Last edited by Roy Morford; 02-12-2017 at 11:52 AM.
I love it when people pay me compliments but the truth is I seldom post pictures of all the mistakes I make. This picture is for the benefit of new/rookie boat builders to show that mistakes happen or you change your mind about how to do something and that if you build it, you can fix it. I'll post more pictures later and nobody, other than the people on this forum, will ever know. So, go ahead and do your worst. I promise you'll learn a lot fixing things and your worst will turn out looking just fine.
That is one beautiful creation! I love the woodwork detail. Filling holes with epoxy makes for an easy nice fix -- nobody was the wiser.
I love epoxy.
Another lick of paint and nobody will ever know! Now I just have to make the yoke with some left over cherry and that job will done.
Did you use a router with rounding bit to give those edges such a nice look?
Yes. I used a trim router with 3/8 round over bit for the edge of the thwart and used a 1/4 bit for the seat edge. Just a little hand sanding at the corner to make the two different radii meet neatly. I have glued up several pieces of cherry to make a piece large enough for the yoke and hope to cut out the rough shape later today. Glad I decided to do it this way. Still pouring with rain outside so I'm working in rather cramped quarters inside and have to choose carefully which job I can do next.
Here's the new yoke roughly shaped. I still have to sand and round over the edges.
And here we are with the yoke shaped, edges rounded, sanded and the first coat of varnish.
Does the wood have enough cross-grain strength to resist breaking? That looks to me like a good way to get a mast in the lap or on the head.
If you look closely you'll see that the yoke is laminated, not one piece. Also, keep in mind that the forces on the mast from the sail will be forward and sideways against the thwart, not backwards against the yoke. The yoke on my present boat (see post #479) is similar and I can assure you it's plenty strong.
Back again although not too much done since my last visit. Life keeps getting in the way. Anyway, here is the launch dolly almost complete. I still have to add an angled piece on either side of the main frame member to keep the hull centered. Should have that done in a couple of days. Then I'll be out of commission for a month. Kind of messes up my "confident" prediction of an April launch. Maybe late April or early may. I'll try not to disappoint you again.